Add, Replace or Remove a Light Switch

“Why Not Switch” to a Dimmer:

A very simple way to change or update the look of a room is to add the ability to dim that room’s lighting. Set the mood, change the atmosphere, or simple give your eyes the perfect amount of light… dimmers can change or improve the use of a room or space.

Replace a Light Switch:

Sometimes light switches need replacing. We can install the regular toggle type switch or update to a Decora style type of light switch. Although you can purchase a switch yourself at your local hardware store, it is not recommended that you attempt to perform the switch replacement yourself. This project should only be trusted in the hands of a licensed, skilled electrician.

Do I Need Special Light Bulbs for My Dimmer Switches?

With the arrival of new technologies in light bulbs, dimmer switches have become even more complicated. Specifically, what kind of light bulbs are compatible with which sort of dimmer switches? It used to be that you would simply put a dimmer switch on a wall and you could easily adjust the light levels of any bulb. This is no longer the case, however.  We will discuss how to find the dimmer switches that are right for your bulbs.

How Dimmers Work:

In order to understand compatibility, it is important to understand how dimmers work. Light bulbs have both voltage and wattage to them. Voltage decides the type of current that enters a light bulb, while wattage decides the strength of that current. Contrary to what you might think, it is the voltage of the current that is affected by the dimmer, not the wattage.

This can wreak havoc with certain light bulbs, if they get the wrong voltage. One must add up all the wattages of the light bulbs that are going to be controlled by the dimmer. Dimmers are rated by wattage. Never go more than 70% of the rating of the dimmer. The dimmer will get hot and malfunction quicker.

One bad thing about dimmers is that sometimes when a bulb blows out; it can cause the dimmer to malfunction.

Incandescent Light Bulbs:

Incandescent light bulbs will work with any dimmer switch. This is because incandescent light bulbs will only burn out if you go over their voltage, not if you stay under it. In fact, running an incandescent light bulb at a lower voltage can actually increase its lifespan. If anything, you should be looking for the most inexpensive available dimmers, since you won’t need any more.

Fluorescent Light Bulbs:

Fluorescent light bulbs are far more complicated. If you put a lower voltage current through a fluorescent light bulb that isn’t designed for dimming, your bulb will start to hum and then simply shut off, without ever dimming. To dim fluorescent lights, you need two things.

First, you need a bulb with what is called a “dimmable ballast.” It will say so on the package if it has one.

Second, you need a dimmer that is compatible with your bulb.

The problem is that standard dimmers are not perfectly compatible with all dimmable fluorescents; even if the fluorescent says so on the box. Instead, you are better off getting a dimmer specially designed for fluorescent lights or CFLs. These switches will say they are specially designed for fluorescent lights.

At Richard Marton Electrical Contractor LLC, we can help choose the right switch or dimmer to meet your needs.

Call Now! 201-262-7710

Richard Marton Electrical Contractor LLC is a full service electrical contractor serving homeowners and businesses in Bergen, Passaic, Essex and Morris County New Jersey with electrical installations and repairs. We are also a Generac Generator installer.

Richard Marton Electrical Contractor LLC works with general contractors, residential architects, interior decorators, interior designers, painters, property management and property maintenance professionals, and professional organizers. We work with these professionals to give clients top of the line electrical installations within such projects as residential remodeling, residential renovations, plus build outs of new kitchens, bathrooms, home offices, add-a-level residential project and more.

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